Arriving on the street in October 2015 alongside Johnny, in order to reclaim her stolen inheritance from brother Aidan, Kate began to make a life for herself in preparation for the return of her partner Caz Hammond from the army. When Caz returned for a brief period in November she asked Kate to marry her and the pair set a date for April 2016 - a year after they first met. That December, Kate and Aidan were shocked to discover that Johnny had engaged in an affair with a woman named Sharon, and they had a half-sister - Underworld owner Carla. Despite being furious with Johnny at first the pair later forgave him.
Kate dumped Caz in April after she became possessive over her friendship with Sophie Webster, but Caz faked an injury in order to win her back. When Kate found out that Caz had fabricated the injury - and was facing court martial procedures - she ended things permanently, but later became concerned about her well-being when she framed Maria Connor for murder. In late 2017, Kate found new love with her friend Rana Nazir - although she was married to her colleague Zeedan. The pair attempted to fight their feelings but eventually caved and Rana confessed everything to Zeedan.
1989-2015: Childhood and discovering her sexuality
Born on 16th November 1989, Kate was Johnny and Louisa Connor's second child - following her brother Aidan's birth six years earlier. However, unbeknown to everyone Johnny had fathered another child, Carla, in 1975 after having an affair with a woman named Sharon. While growing up in Manchester, Kate was close to her distant cousins Paul, Liam and Michelle - and Johnny became fearful that his lies would be exposed when Paul ventured into a relationship with Carla.
In December 1993, Louisa discovered the truth about Johnny's betrayal after Sharon confessed everything to her. She planned to leave him, and take both Aidan and Kate with her, but was tragically stuck by a car and killed before she had a chance to do so. Now more desperate than ever to cover up his lies - Johnny tried to persuaded his second cousin Barry Connor to move back to Ireland, in the hopes that he would take his children and Carla with him. However, when Barry and his wife Helen finally decided to leave England none of their children agreed to go with them so Johnny moved to another part of Manchester along with Aidan and Kate.
At some point Johnny and Kate moved to Spain, alongside Johnny's new girlfriend, and Kate became a holiday rep. Eventually Kate began to experiment sexually with women and, realising that she was a lesbian, Kate came out to her father - who was initially unhappy with the revelation but eventually warmed to the idea as he just wanted her to be happy. Kate later entered a long-term relationship with soldier Caz Hammond, however due to Caz being in the army the pair often didn't see each other for long periods of time.
2015-2016: Dealing with her father's lies
In 2015, Johnny placed £100,00 of his own money into Aidan's bank account as a tax dodge and later promised Kate the wedding of her dreams after she became engaged to Caz. Although, not long after this Johnny and his girlfriend split and she cleaned him out - taking the villa and all of his savings.
Intent on keeping his promise to Kate, Johnny tracked Aidan down to Weatherfield and both he and Kate turned up at the Underworld factory on Coronation Street to confront him. The pair were soon shocked to discover that, upon the request of Nick Tilsley - who had revealed that Carla was facing financial difficulties, Aidan had invested the full amount into a 40% share of Underworld. Originally, Johnny insisted that Aidan was to cancel the deal he had with Underworld - although Carla informed him that the money was going nowhere as she and Aidan had a contract. This led an exasperated Johnny to agree on staying in Weatherfield and helping to run the factory - until his money was paid back in full.
As she would also be staying in Weatherfield for the time being, Kate decided that she would work alongside her father at the factory - but Aidan was quick to give her a reality check, pointing out that she wasn't wanted in the office as she had no experience working in a factory. Despite Kate's protests, Aidan insisted that she would need to work her way up by starting off in the packing department under the guidance of Kirk Sutherland. Kate soon began causing trouble by jokingly flirting with Kirk to get a rise out of his wife Beth. Although, after a fight broke out between her and Beth - Kate decided that she had went too far and offered to buy Beth a drink in the Rovers Return. Beth later accepted Kate's apology when she revealed that she was in fact lesbian.
Befriending fellow lesbian Sophie Webster, Kate shared a kiss with her as she was feeling lonely in Caz's absence - however, the kiss was interrupted by Caz's impromptu return. Kate put the blame on Sophie in order to save her relationship with Caz.
Later that year, in December 2015, Carla's half-brother Rob Donovan began trying to cause trouble for the Connors from behind bars (after having been locked up for the murder of Tina McIntyre). Rob attempted to blackmail Johnny telling him that he knew that he was Carla's real father. Johnny paid Rob £10,000 to keep quiet but this was not enough and Rob continued to blackmail him, knowing there was no way to win with Rob.
Johnny revealed the truth to Carla himself who then in turn told Aidan and Kate.
Kate broke up her engagement with Caz and later dated Imogen Pascoe for a few weeks. During her relationship with Imogen, her friend Rana Nazir, developed strong feelings for her to which she confessed after Kate and Imogen broke up.
After having an affair for a few months and confessing to Zeedan - they are currently in a secret relationship due to Rana's family paying Zeedan to stay married to Rana for a year, which Rana guiltily agreed to.
Character creation and role
Kate first appeared in Episode 8746 in October 2015. Brookes' casting was announced on 20th July 2015, alongside that of Richard Hawley's as her character's father Johnny Connor, and Rhea Bailey as Kate's fiancée Caz Hammond (incorrectly named as "Tess" in the initial press releases). It was revealed that Kate and Johnny would follow Aidan Connor (Shayne Ward) to the street after learning that he had invested stolen inheritance money into Underworld. Early on Kate was described as being "a vibrant young woman full of fun and mischief". Before landing the job on Corrie Bookes trained at the Guildford School of Acting, her prior television credits include Oakfield, Our Zoo and Atlantis. She also appeared in numerous stage roles; That Day We Sang, The Sound of Music, Legally Blonde and Grease.
All Lesbians Want Kids
Early in 2019 a controversial sex scene between Kate Connor and Adam Barlow was cleared by Ofcom of any wrongdoing after 68 viewers complained. The offending scene, aired in December 2018, came when Kate was left heartbroken when Rana admitted she wasn't sure she wanted a baby. In a bid to get pregnant, Kate shamelessly seduced Adam, with the pair passionately snogging before he had second thoughts and stopped their tryst. Viewers weren't happy with the idea that a man could 'turn' a gay woman straight, or that a gay woman will 'turn straight' after a few drinks. However, an Ofcom spokesman told Digital Spy: "The episode focused on two characters wanting different things from their relationship but, in our view, didn’t refer to their sexual orientation in a derogatory manner."
Later, Kate enlisted her cousin Michelle's partner Robert Preston - who was also desperate for children of his own as Michelle refused to go through childbirth again following her late miscarriage - to father her child. However, following the backlash the storyline never progressed and Michelle didn't discover the plan. Viewers claimed that the storyline followed a common television trope; "All Lesbians Want Kids", which occurs when a given lesbian character enters intoa long-term relationship with another woman. 'At some point their biological clock will go off, and a pregnancy storyline will begin, since they only want biological kids.
'A great deal of attention will be paid to what is an easy and minor part of the process: the lesbian couple's quest to find sperm. Sperm banks and adoption will almost never be seriously discussed. The TV lesbians will instead try to get sperm from the men in their life, be he a close friend, in-law, or random passerby and a truly improbable number will even opt for an "old-fashioned" impregnation with the sperm donor.'
Bury Your Gays
The decision to kill Rana Habeeb off on her and Kate's wedding day, after Bhavna Limbachia quit the role, caused extreme controversy. Some viewers accused the show writers of encouraging the "Bury Your Gays" television trope - which was coined by LGBT critics over the apparent use of queer characters dying early or being killed off instead of their straight counterparts in both film and television globally. This could be as the result of attacks because they were gay, or that they’re killed off as their storyline comes to its natural conclusion meaning they’re no longer necessary. Citing Maddie Heath (Amy James-Kelly) as another example of this following her tragic demise in June 2015. The watchdog Ofcom received 236 complaints from viewers but favoured the side of the soap, and didn’t think her death was a negative portrayal of LGBT relationships to the public.
A spokesperson for Ofcom said: ‘We considered complaints that this storyline negatively portrayed gay relationships. In our view, the untimely death of the character was typical of this soap’s dramatic plotlines and would not have exceeded most viewers’ expectations.’ Bhavnia stated that being killed off was at her suggestion. During an interview with This Morning following the scenes being aired, she said that offence was never her, nor the show’s, intent. ‘My decision to leave and be killed off was never meant to offend the LGBT+ community,’ she said. ‘It was made in the same way I’ve tried to portray the character throughout the years, and that’s with truth and integrity, and my decision to leave and have her killed off was made with the decision of two people being in love and their love being pure, regardless of their age, their gender, their sexuality, their religion.’ ‘So the intention was never to offend the LGBT community. It was purely for two people being in love. I guess it was modern-day Romeo and Juliet, or a Juliet and Juliet love story,’ she added.
In April 2019, Brookes revealed she had decided to leave the show after 4 years. Kate departed during Episode 9873 in September 2019 as Kate decided to go travelling with her friend Imogen Pascoe after receiving a large sum of money from guilt-ridden Gary Windass. Fans of the character slammed the episode, and her "diabolical" exit, as it didn't focus on her departure - with Ali Neeson getting the final scene as he broke down following his decision to go cold turkey from drugs.
At the 2017 National Television Awards, Brookes won "Best Newcomer" for her portrayal of Kate.
First and last lines
"You didn't think you could get away with this did you?" (First line, to brother Aidan).
(To be completed)
List of addresses
|Manchester||1989 to unknown|
|Spain||Unknown to October 2015|
|15a Victoria Street||2nd December 2015 to 16th June 2017|
|19a Victoria Street||16th June 2017 to 19th December 2018|
|Rovers Return Inn||19th December 2018 to January 2019|
|19a Victoria Street||January 2019 to March 2019|
|Rovers Return Inn||March 2019 to September 2019|
|Waitress||Nick's Bistro/Viaduct Bistro||3rd February 2017 to September 2019|